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Last Tuesday I had the chance to give an elevator pitch for ArtistBomb at Boston ENET. (The pitch was recorded, so I can post a link if it gets uploaded somewhere.) I’d like to share the formula I used so that you can adapt it for your own work.
What’s the Goal of an Elevator Pitch?
You want to convince someone in a very short amount of time to do something helpful to your business. At last week’s ENET meeting, I had 90 seconds. If I were actually in an elevator with someone, I’d have between 5 and 30 seconds.
I know the pitch I gave was effective because the three investors in the room, who got to make one comment or question after I spoke, didn’t use their moment to ask for clarification or to suggest a refinement. Rather, they each asked a logical follow-on question, indicating that they had understood all that I had said. If the format of the meeting had allowed for me to answer them, I would have engaged them all in meaningful conversation. What more can you ask for at a first meeting?
Generic Outline of an Elevator Pitch for Investors
ArtistBomb exists in the live music universe and does this great thing for these specific people. Unlike all of our competitors, ArtistBomb is different in this one significant way. This matters because those other companies are missing something.
For $30/mo, our customers can use our service, which solves their problem. We solve their problem by doing X, Y, and Z. This helps them make more money with less risk.
ArtistBomb just recently hit a significant milestone. We want to raise $X in the next couple of months so that we can hit the next milestones B and C.
If the investor to whom you’re speaking is interested, that’s all you need to say. If they have money and like the idea, they’ll express an interest. If not, they may ask a question. Or if they really don’t like you or the idea, they’ll say, “Well, good luck!” and that’s your answer.
What’s so Special about that Formula?
Imagine I started my pitch with paragraph three. The investors would have been distracted by their own internal interrogation, “What’s ArtistBomb? Should I already know what this is? Why don’t I know what he’s talking about?” That’s why you lead off instead with a broad statement about your company’s space.
What if you didn’t include a differentiator early on? Now your investors are distracted by a different internal monolog, “Oh great, another XYZ company. Just like that other one I don’t like.” You want to let your audience know why you’re different and better.
What if you didn’t include a firm price? Now you leave your audience wondering whether you have any monetization strategy. Most investors prefer to invest in businesses that make money. Otherwise, finding any net profit is going to be pretty tough.
The rest of the pitch adds to your credibility by providing details and indicating recent progress.
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.